God's Prominent Characteristic
When we describe people, we usually give their most prominent characteristic first. If we have an uncle who laughs a lot, we will say he is a laughing, friendly man. In the Old Testament when God the Father is described, the prominent characteristic is always compassionate or merciful. For example, in Psalm 103:8 it says, “. . . Compassionate and gracious is Yahweh.” Yahweh is the personal name of God in the Old Testament. Over and over again when Yahweh is described, compassion comes first. Compassion means He feels where you are at, and it emotionally matters to him.Your emotional state is of significance to this God. As you go through your day, He feels where you're at, feels sympathy for you, and responds accordingly with grace.
Once I went through a very deep depression. What I found to my surprise was that when I talked to any other person who has gone through significant depression, it made me happy and calm. The reason? I was understood by the other person. In the same way, it is critically important to recognize that God the Father feels exactly where we are at and it matters to him. As first Peter 5:7 says, "Casting all your care on him, because he cares for you.”